Comprehensive DNA Methylation and Gene Expression Profiling in Differentiating Human Adipocytes

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Insight into the processes controlling adipogenesis is important in the battle against the obesity epidemic and its related disorders. The transcriptional regulatory cascade involved in adipocyte differentiation has been extensively studied, however, the mechanisms driving the transcription activation are still poorly understood. In this study, we explored the involvement of DNA methylation in transcriptional regulation during adipocyte differentiation of primary human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs). Genome-wide changes in DNA methylation were measured using the Illumina 450K BeadChip. In addition, expression of 84 adipogenic genes was determined, of which 43 genes showed significant expression changes during the differentiation process. Among these 43 differentially expressed genes, differentially methylated regions (DMRs) were detected in only three genes. By comparing genome-wide DNA methylation profiles in undifferentiated and differentiated adipocytes 793 significant DMRs were detected. Pathway analysis revealed the adipogenesis pathway as the most statistically significant, although only a small number of genes were differentially methylated. Genome-wide DNA methylation changes for single probes were most often located in intergenic regions, and underrepresented close to the transcription start site. In conclusion, DNA methylation remained relatively stable during adipocyte differentiation, implying that changes in DNA methylation are not the underlying mechanism regulating gene expression during adipocyte differentiation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2707-2718
JournalJournal of Cellular Biochemistry
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • adipocyte differentiation

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  • Research Output

    • 13 Citations
    • 1 Comment/Letter to the editor

    Cover Image, Volume 117, Number 12, December 2016

    van den Dungen, M. W., Murk, A. J., Kok, D. E. & Steegenga, W. T., 1 Dec 2016, In : Journal of Cellular Biochemistry. 117, 12, 1 p.

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